Friday, March 19, 2010

The Golden Game and The Secret Art of Alchemy

I mentioned in an earlier post about Balthus a book written about him by his son, Stanislas Klossowski de Rola. I was reminded of two excellent books on the symbols of alchemy which he also wrote. My favorite is The Golden Game: Alchemical Engravings of the Seventeenth Century; With 533 Illustrations (Thames & Hudson, 1997). This book presents a comprehensive selection of the finest engraved alchemical emblems of the seventeenth century, brought together for the first time. The book includes black and white reproductions of engravings from 38 books (each a separate chapter) with commentary, a select bibliography and an index.

The second book, Alchemy: The Secret Art (NY: Bounty/Crown, 1973) contains 193 illustrations, 33 in full color. In it the author states:
Alchemy is a rainbow bridging the chasm between the earthly and heavenly planes, between matter and spirit. Like the rainbow, it may appear within reach, only to recede if one chases it merely to find a pot of gold.

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